Baseball: Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft opens Thursday

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Mountain Vista-Regis Jesuit 5A Championship Series 5.23.14
Recent Regis Jesuit ace pitcher David Peterson is expected to be taken early in the 2014 Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft, which begins Thursday. The 6-foot-6 left-hander pitched just 24 1/3 innings as a senior due to injury, but struck out 40 batters and went 3-0 with a 1.15 ERA. (Courtney Oakes/Aurora Sentinel)

AURORA | In recent years, the annual Major League Baseball First-Year Player Draft has had at least some local flavor and this year is not likely to be an exception.

The 2014 MLB Draft opens at 5 p.m. MT Thursday and continues through Saturday, with at least one player from an Aurora high school expected to be selected in the early rounds.

Recent Regis Jesuit High School graduate David Peterson, a left-handed pitcher who rebounded from injury to help the Raiders made it to the championship game of the Class 5A Baseball Championship Series, is ranked as the No. 115 prospect — high school or college — by MLB.com. Peterson fractured his fibula in two places prior to his senior season, which limited the University of Oregon signee to just 24 1/3 innings, in which he compiled a 3-0 record with a save, a 1.15 ERA and 40 strikeouts against 12 walks.

Peterson’s injury cast a bit of uncertainty on his draft status, but he has the uncommon size for a pitcher at 6-foot-6 and can touch 93 mph with his fastball, traits teams like. MLB.com notes “the team that feels he eventually will be a big league starter is the one that will take a chance on a player they didn’t get to see a lot of during the 2014 season.”

Standout infielder Max George, one of Peterson’s teammates and the Colorado Gatorade Player of the Year, could also be taken in the upper half of the draft. The 5-foot-10, 170-pounder, who led Raiders’ regulars with a .458 batting average and 31 runs scored, is an Oregon State signee.

Last year, four players from Aurora schools went in the draft: Grandview graduate Alex Allbritton to the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim (No. 637 overall) and a trio of Regis Jesuit products in Brody Weiss (No. 649 overall to the Colorado Rockies), Andrew Schmidt (No. 1,154 overall to the New York Yankees) and Cole Norton (No. 1,159 overall to the Rockies).

In 2012, former Grandview ace Kevin Gausman went No. 4 overall to the Baltimore Orioles and the San Francisco Giants took Regis Jesuit grad Ty Blach in the fifth round, while ex-Grandview star Greg Bird went in the fifth round to the New York Yankees in 2011.

The hometown Rockies hold the No. 8 pick in the 2014 first round.

Courtney Oakes is Sports Editor of the Aurora Sentinel. Reach him at 303-750-7555 or [email protected] Twitter: @aurorasports. Facebook: Aurora Prep Sentinel

2014 MLB FIRST-YEAR PLAYER DRAFT ORDER

First Round (June 5)

1. Houston Astros
2. Miami Marlins
3. Chicago White Sox
4. Chicago Cubs
5. Minnesota Twins
6. Seattle Mariners
7. Philadelphia Phillies
8. Colorado Rockies
9. Toronto Blue Jays
10. New York Mets
11. Toronto Blue Jays
12. Milwaukee Brewers
13. San Diego Padres
14. San Francisco Giants
15. Los Angeles Angels
16. Arizona Diamondbacks
17. Kansas City Royals
18. Washington Nationals
19. Cincinnati Reds
20. Tampa Bay Rays
21. Cleveland Indians
22. Los Angeles Dodgers
23. Detroit Tigers
24. Pittsburgh Pirates
25. Oakland Athletics
26. Boston Red Sox
27. St. Louis Cardinals